2014 Poem of the Year: “A Moment in a Room”

Of course yours truly "achange" has not read a thousandth of the poems published this year, and this poem I submit below as poem of the year doesn't even come from 2014.

But it's great, it's by Tennessee Williams, and it's never been published before, I don't believe. It comes from a magisterial biography of this great writer with an absurdly dramatic life. (The book's by the great critic John Lahr and it's called Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrammage of the Flesh.) 

Most important, the poem's a beaut, about the love of Williams' life, Frank Merlo. From l952:

A Moment in a Room

Coarse fabrics are the ones
for common wear,
the tender ones are those
we fold away.

And so I watch you quietly
comb your hair.
Intimate the silence,
dim and warm.

I could but do not break
a thing so still,
in which almost a whisper
would be shrill…

For time's not cheated by
a moment's quiet,
the heart beats echo to
eternal riot…

But while it waits, I speak not
false to you,
something unspoken in 
this room is true,

And still it goes as though
it longed to stay,
this tender moment we
must fold away. 

 

One thought on “2014 Poem of the Year: “A Moment in a Room”

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